Expert canvass revamped school curriculum to include climate change
By EricJames Ochigbo
The Executive Director, Development of Educational Action Network (DEAN-Initiative) Mr Michael Semiye says government must redesign and shift school curriculum from knowledge to skill base to combat unemployment in the country.
Semiye made the call in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidle line of a stakeholders roundtable on the need to include climate change in school curriculum for environmental safety.
He recommended that teachers should be equipped with modern techniques to deliver skills that will ensure behavioural change in the pupils to create jobs and preserve the environment.
According to him, the global economy is shifting towards green economy and green skills; there is a need have an education architecture that ensures people develop ability to solve problem.
He said that in some countries, students are not scored based on knowledge but on technical and practical competence.
“Government needs to set up modalities and invest heavy in building infrastructures that re-engineer our school curriculum from knowledge based to skill based.
“In fighting unemployment, I will recommend that as number one on the table, people must learn skills from school and not when they get out of school.
“Our development design should start focusing on how to work with teachers, we are hoping that government will build structures to help modenise their teaching delivery beyond teaching people how to read and write.
“Teacher pass competence and skills to the pupils so when teachers themselves lack the ability to dispense this type of life changing procedure, then there is going to be a problem, “he said.
Semiye stressed the need to include climate change school curriculum to engineer behavioural change towards the environment
He said that the action of the public in response to the campaign generated so far on approach to the environment does not correspond.
According him, many people have not exhibited a shift, people’s behaviour towards environmental saneness is possibly worse than before.
The expert said that the floods is not much a natural disaster but of people’s behaviour in blocking waterways, indiscriminate refuse disposal among others.
He said that the change in response to the ongoing campaign is still very little saying that there is need to include climate change in the curriculum to build behaviour from early stages.
“We are in great danger, projection suggests that the floods will keep escalating because of the actions of humans continues to inflate the root causes of floods.
“The weather is going be more extreme, we are going to having more drought, shortage of food, farmers are going to have more to deal with especially in Nigeria where we already have farmers/herders clashes developing into security crisis.
“We may increase our armory in terms of weapons but if the root causes are not faced squarely, we will continue to have those issues,
“Youth migration will continue, skilled job will continue invade if nothing is done, we will continue to produce readers, people with ability to speak, read and write but have no ability to provide initiative to help them survive.
“It is a multiple of complications and only few will struggle to escspe the bracket but the weight of those who will not be able to escape the bracket will continue to consume the few,” he said.
Earlier, stakeholders at the round table, after group discussions, provided counsel on how best government can reengineer school curriculum to meet modern global skill and environmental demands.
Ms Onyekachi Chukwu, an associate of Clear Technology Hub, identified agencies of government to lead the drive and recommended inter agency approach.
“The Ministry of Education both federal and state and their parastatals, Ministry of Environment, National Orientation Agency (NOA) National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and National Standard Environmental Regulation and Enforcement Agency to lead the ambition.
“ Ministry of Finance, State Universal Basic Education Board, Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council and National Climate Council should play leading roles,” she said
Also, Ms Caroline Olaitan, a Senior Education Officer who spoke on the role of teacher in climate education delivery in schools said that teachers must be trained to understand the curriculum and the concept of the subject matter.
She said that activities like field trips, tree planting, waste management, recycling, gardening, among others should be encouraged in schools.
“The solution is training and retraining of teachers on climate change, sourcing funds from international bodies, availability of resource materials like text books, collaborations and recruitment of skilled teacher,” she said.
On her part, A Senior Programme Officer at Sydani, Ms Elena Erezi said that for Nigeria to join the comity of nations already making progress on climate education, a clear strategy has to be put in place.
“There is need to convene sectoral climate change actors for consultation to foster a robust conversation towards enlisting climate education in schools.
“We think climate education should not limited to schools alone, it should cover everything in the formal and the informal sectors.
“We need to develop a plan of action and organise the relevant stakeholders and relevant government agencies to work together in enlightening policy makers, build collaboration with NGOs and countries that have made desirable progress in mainstreaming climate change into the educational system,” she said.
Also, the Bureau Chief of EviroNews, Mr Etta Bisong said that members of the National Assembly has a key to play in mainstreaming climate change into curriculum to engineer bahvioural change.
“One of the key roles for our lawmakers and legislators to play is for them to ensure they carry out their oversight function very well.
“Looking at all the climate change issues raised, the Climate Change Act of 2021, there is a clause for climate education inside the Act but is not amplified.
“Some of the issues we are talking about already exist in forms of law and policy but they are not being implemented.
“For to achieve what we are talking about, there is need for our lawmakers to actually carry out their oversight roles.
“The National Assembly must play a key role to ensure that whatever law on climate change must be enforced otherwise we will keep discussing and we won’t see action,” he said.